We are pleased that reader David Gregor sent this beautiful shot of the rollout of Qantas VH-EBA in February 1959. This is one of three Boeing 707-138s still around.
Qantas was the first airline outside the US to buy the Boeing 707, and 13 were built for the Australia-based carrier. The aircraft shown in the picture was the 29th Boeing 707 built.
The airline’s first 707-138 entered service on Sydney-San Francisco on July 29, 1959.
The last 707-138 built, VH-EBM, is owned and operated by actor John Travolta and is painted in its last Qantas colors registered as N707JT.
The aircraft shown was restored by the QFM 707 restoration project, a group consisting of current and retired Qantas staff.
Reader David Gregor began as an engineer at Qantas in January 1964, six months before the last two 707-138s were delivered. He was part of the restoration team. This aircraft was restored in England, and in 2006 it was flown home to Sydney via the US. At that time, it was the oldest airworthy commercial jet. It now resides at the Qantas Founder Museum at Longreach Queensland, but under a different registration.